Playing with the System: Fragmentation and Individualization in Late Pre-colonial Mīmāṃsā [Book Review]

Journal of Indian Philosophy 36 (5-6):575-585 (2008)
Studies of Indian philosophy have generally overemphasized the con-sistency of philosophical systems over time, and consequently slighted later works as derivative. This paper seeks to reassess the “system” as a basic category for analyzing Sanskrit philosophy, in particular by examining the changes that took place in hermeneutics, or Mīmāṃsā, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when it became commonplace for Mīmāṃsā authors to criticize long established Mīmāṃsā positions. At first this criticism is selective and largely directed at more recent authors, but the margins of acceptable criticism are gradually broadened to the point when even the foundational works of the tradition are routinely attacked, and works are produced whose sole purpose appears to be to attack established Mīmāṃsā tenets, sometimes without even attempting to replace them with a more workable set of views. It becomes increasingly difficult to see what if anything one must believe to be considered a Mīmāṃsaka
Keywords Mīmāṃsā  Intellectual History  Philosophical Systems
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-008-9043-y
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